I have received several emails from listeners asking for more details on the punishment music I used during the Harris Challenge on my Friday KTRS show.
It’s from an NBC primetime special that aired on September 20, 1981, called “Get High On Yourself.” It was produced by Hollywood studio executive Robert Evans (whose story was told so wonderfully in the documentary “The Kid Stays In The Picture”) as part of his community service plea bargain after being busted buying $19,000 worth of cocaine.
Yeah, no jail time, just go produce a cheesy TV show and we’ll be good. That’s what’s known as Rich Hollywood White Guy Justice.
Anyway, Evans put up $400,000 of his own money for the special, and culled big names from his Rolodex to do the show, including a “We Are The World” type musical number that was supposed to teach kids to stay away from drugs. The roster of then-famous folks who appeared included Paul Newman, Julius Erving, Muhammad Ali, Cathy Lee Crosby, Henry Winkler, Carol Burnett, Bob Hope, Kate Jackson, Magic Johnson, Kristy McNichol, Robby Benson, Scott Baio, Herve Villechaize, Mark Hamill, and John Davidson. As you watch it, you’ll notice that several of the stars (Paul Newman in particular) must have dubbed their voices later so they could be heard amidst the crowd of people in the studio — not that it helps.
The song was written by Steve Karmen, who was otherwise best known for composing the “I Love New York” commercial jingle. I’m sure he’d much prefer to be remembered for that than this. Caveat: this may become an ear worm you can’t get out of your head…you’ve been warned!
Of course, as you know, the special was so convincing that America never had a problem with drugs again after it aired. I doubt the same was true for some of the stars you’re about to see…